Review: The Eterna Files by Leanna Renee Hieber




Publisher: Tor

Publishing Date: February 2015

ISBN: 9780765336743

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: DNF

 Publisher Description: London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins and con men, and a traveling circus. Spire’s chief researcher is Rose Everhart, who believes fervently that there is more to the world than can be seen by mortal eyes.  

 Review: There were a few reasons this novel got the dreaded “DNF” which is worse than a one star rating. First the premise. It is based on Mary Todd Lincoln’s grief stricken demand that Bishop (them?, who?) find or create the mortality cure thereby gaining immortality. Did Mary Todd have some sort of hidden cabalistic power which would grant her powers beyond Lincoln’s death? She says most of this to some young psychic girl, named Clara. Yeaaah.

The writing wasn’t too bad, it just relied on the tried and true repetitive phrasing used to expedite scenes and dialogue without the effort to craft something that flows intelligently. For instance, murmur or murmured was used a total of 71 times, which is excessive when reading a dialogue heavy novel.  Other cringe worthy phrasing was: shuddered (12x), growled (23x) and muttered (21x). 

Clara is a failed character. She is constantly bewildered and in disbelief at her past, current and future set of circumstances. She reminds me of a steel orb in a pinball machine. Stumbling her way through life with a ‘vacant’ sign around her neck. Some unearthly rematerializing woman pops in now and then and reminds her just how SPESHUL she is. After which we are left with Clara muttering, murmuring questions to herself and growling her denials.  This novel would be a good read in the right hands. I just had a hard time with the mountain of dialogue and cheesy phrasing.



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